By Ingrida Latoza • December 16, 2015•Writers in Residence
“Move people beyond just dreaming into doing. They have to be able to see that you are just like them, and you made it.” – The Honorable Sonia Sotomayor
As the teacher finishes her grading and packs up her classroom, she reflects on years past and looks to the bright future ahead for both her students and herself. Change is inevitable, but growth is the ultimate goal. The last weeks of law school have been bittersweet. With the pressure of finals, the excitement of graduation, the stress of the bar exam lurking around the corner, and the joy of three years of hard work finally reaching its end, the mind and body does not know which emotion to focus on! Even good things must come to an end, so it’s time to prepare for the next chapter in life.
“X”: Re-eXamine and Reflect
At the beginning of a lesson, a teacher has particular objectives for the class. In structuring the learning, one of the most important components is reflection upon completion of the unit. Reflection promotes self-awareness and sharpens your vision to help you reach your goal. As a law student, you were asked to write a personal statement of why you wanted to get into law school. Now is the time to read that personal statement again. Have your reasons changed? Your writing style has probably improved, but do you currently have different aspirations? Perhaps when you started, you did not have an idea of how you would use your law degree. Do you know now? What are you most proud of during your time in law school? Take some time to really think about the success you have had, and who might benefit most from what you have learned along the way. Most importantly, plan to share your new skills with others.
“Y”: “YOU can do this!” becomes “YOU did it!”
Teachers often take on more than they can chew, and the workload in the middle of the school year seems unbearable. The daily mantra of “You can do this!” is the thought that keeps you going. Making lists, checking things off… one by one. The biggest satisfaction comes when you are ready to check off the last thing on your list. Pure delight! “You did it!” becomes the new refrain. There is nothing more satisfying to a law student than exiting the last final exam. Savor that moment. Enjoy the bliss. You earned it!
“Z”: ZEST for life
One common character trait among teachers is passion for teaching. This sense of excitement transfers into other areas of life. The positive energy helps motivate through challenging situations. Law school is one of the most demanding experiences a person can encounter. However, it is also full of inspiring opportunities! Finding creative ways to make the journey more enjoyable is a way to celebrate all that law school has to offer. Be adventurous and vivacious. When it’s all over, you’ll be happy you “lived”, even during law school.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. This blog has been a fun outlet to write and reflect on my experiences in law school from the perspective of an elementary school teacher. If you missed any posts from previous months and would like to read them, here is the full year.
Now you know my ABC’s… thanks for following along with me!